Wondering how to watch ABC without cable? In this era of cord cutting it’s a shame that some people still pay for their overpriced cable TV services simply because they don’t know how to watch ABC without cable.
ABC is one of the most popular major networks and it’s relatively easy to get without cable. This is because it is offered free-to-air using a digital antenna or via legal online streaming services.
Here, we will discuss all you need to know about how to watch ABC without cable.
How To Watch ABC Without Cable
ABC is one of the most sought-after TV networks covering various entertainment content from news, Jimmy Kimmel Live and other comedy shows, dramas, children entertainment, and the NBA.
This is why so many people that don’t fully understand how they can watch ABC without any cable aren’t willing to give up their expensive services.
In general, there are two ways to watch ABC without a cable or satellite service:
First, ABC is actually a 100% free OTA (over-the-air) network, so you can watch the network for totally free as long as you have an antenna. Second, you can use various legal streaming services to watch ABC online. Below, we will discuss these two options.
How To Watch ABC Without Cable: Over-The-Air Antenna
Most areas in the U.S. offer FREE access to around 50 to 100 different TV networks over the air and all you need to do to access these TV stations is to put up an over-the-air TV antenna (or just TV antenna).
Nowadays, over-the-air TV signals in the US (that are going to be accessed via the antenna) are compressed less than HD cable and satellite broadcasts, and so you’ll get better—or at least similar—quality pictures.
If you’re curious if ABC or any of the other major networks are freely available in your area, be sure to check out our TV Station Locator for Antenna tool page.
From here you can simply enter your zip code (it’s perfectly safe) and the tool will provide you with a listing of all the over-the-air television broadcasts in your are.
Not only will the tool show you what channels are available, but it will also show you the broadcast strength, channel repack information, and the locations of the transmission towers. It’s a great tool!
Check out the video below where I demonstrate the Locator Tool in action.
Legal Online Streaming Options
If you have access to sufficient broadband internet speed (which, nowadays, who doesn’t?), various online streaming services can be your viable option to watch ABC.
Since ABC is a major network, most online TV streaming services include it in their channel lists, and it is also worth noting that online streaming services are much more affordable than most cable TV subscriptions.
In general, there are three main factors why online streaming is a great solution to how to watch ABC without cable:
- Most cable services require us to rent a TV box or DVR which can add up to more than $100 every year. On the other hand, you can directly access your online streaming service from your website without renting anything. You can buy a very decent streaming player for a very affordable price to avoid any recurring hardware changes.
- It’s no secret that our cable TV bills are often filled with annoying and confusing charges. You won’t get such extra, hidden charges with online streaming services. Yes, you can choose to pay extra if you want DVR storage or to unlock specific channels, but they are optional and (in most cases), clear.
- Most of the legal online streaming services cost less than half the average cable TV cost. You can get decent online streaming offering a great number of channel selections for as low as $15 monthly.
Best Online Streaming Options
In this section I’ll be limiting our discussion to the very best streaming options out there right now for live TV. The options listed below are “fee-for-service” type options, however, they provide much more content, flexible packages, and believe me, they’re a perfect complement to your OTA setup.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu used to be mainly focused on exclusively streaming TV series and films (much like Netflix), including some popular original series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock, among others. However, as time goes, Hulu also expanded its service to also offer live TV streaming.
A lot of people regarded Hulu as one of the best online streaming available (on the top 3), so it’s definitely worth considering.
Hulu Live TV has an excellent reputation for great customer service (it’s after all, owned by Disney) and a great library of content are definitely huge selling points compared to other streaming services. You can also rent a cloud-based DVR that can store up to 50 hours of shows—although you can’t fast-forward through commercials.
Besides ABC, a Hulu Live TV subscription comes with more than 60 selections of TV channels (local networks will vary depending on your current location).
- Basic ($5.99)
- Ads displayed
- 2 simultaneous screens
- Access to premium add ons
- Cannot access Live TV
- Premium ($11.99)
- No ads
- Basic+Live TV ($54.99)
- Ads displayed
- Access to 60+ channels of live TV
- Premium+Live TV ($60.99)
- No Ads
Hulu TV Pros and Cons
- Huge Library Content
- Up to 50 Hours of DVR (can extend to 100 when you pay more)
- Huge compatibility of devices
- Good mix of sports, news and entertainment networks, plus local channels
- Hulu’s on-demand streaming library included
- No offline option
- Must pay to eliminate ads and commercials
- Only two screens at once
- Price is quite High (when you consider the addons)
Probably the best choice for most people due to its reliability and its relatively affordable price tag (compared to many other competitors).
As one of the most popular OTT (over-the-top) media services in the U.S., Sling TV provides the convenience to watch your favorite local channels over the internet, as well as movies on demand.
One of Sling TV’s unique selling points is its affordability: it’s much cheaper than many competing services, but it has very few local channels (and location-dependent especially for Fox and NBC on-demand).
Sling TV does broadcast ABC in most locations for both plans, and Sling offers NBC and Fox in certain locations.
Although Sling TV advertised itself as “a la carte TV”, it’s important to note that you can’t actually pick and choose individual TV channels. Instead, you can choose between what Sling calls Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans (or you can subscribe to both at once).
Here are the key differences between the two plans:
- “Orange” Plan ($30/month)
- 32 channels (not Fox and NBC channels), including AMC, CNN, ESPN, TBS, Food Network
- One simultaneous stream at a time
- “Blue” Plan ($30/month)
- 47 channels (not ESPN and Disney Channels), including FX, El Rey, Viceland, and USA
- Up to three simultaneous streams at a time
- “Orange+Blue” Plan ($45/month)
- 53 channels, includes all channels offered from both plans
- Up to four simultaneous streams, but only one device can stream Orange channels at a time.
Sling TV Pros and Cons
- More affordable than many of other online services
- Versatility to choose between “orange’ and “blue” channels depending on your preference
- You are not locked to any contract and cancel anytime
- Limited local channels
- You can’t choose individual channels (locked to the orange or blue package)
- Only one screen at once for the Orange channels
If your location does offer ABC with a Sling TV subscription, then it’s probably the most cost-efficient option. Very affordable plans with great channel selections.
Fubo TV is well-known as one of the best live TV streaming services in the US, although it’s still fairly young’ and only been launched in early 2015.
Fubo TV offers relatively interesting channel options with its price tag. The Standard Package is probably the better choice for most people, offering 71 channels and 30 hours worth of DVR recording. You can also add $5/month to get an extra 500 hours of DVR and add one more screen.
- Fubo TV Standard – $54.99/month (71 channels, 2 simultaneous screens)
- Fubo TV Family – $59.99/month (Everything in the standard package plus 500 hours cloud DVR, 3 simultaneous screens)
- Fubo TV Ultra – $79.99/month (140 channels)
- Latino Quarterly – $19.99/month (essential Spanish language channels)
Fubo TV Add-on packages:
- Sports Plus – $8.99/month: includes a variety of sports networks like Fox College Sports, Red Zone, Fight Network and more.
- Kids Plus – $2.99/month 1 extra kids channel.
- Cycling Plus – $8.99/month: fuboTV Cycling channel.
- The Blues – $5.99/month: ChelseaTV
- Mundo Plus – $5.99/month: 6 Spanish language channels.
- fubo Latino – $12.99/month: 7 of the best soccer channels, children’s programming and movies in Spanish.
- Portuguese Plus – $14.99/month: 3 channels.
- A variety of language and region-specific channels $5.99-$14.99/month.
Fubo TV offers really versatile choices of plans, especially for its add-on packages, great for fans of international sports or those who want Spanish-speaking channels.
Fubo TV Pros and Cons
- Excellent all-around channel lineup
- Great for fans of international sports
- Exceptional user experience
- No long-term contract
- Cancel anytime with no penalties
- Fantastic programming options for soccer and sports fans
- One of the most expensive live TV streaming services
- Not compatible with game consoles
Fubo TV is a really versatile choice, and a good solution to how to watch ABC without cable. Plus, if you also want to watch international sports and language/region-specific channels, then Fubo TV is your best choice.
So, how to watch ABC without cable?
There are certainly various accessible ways to watch ABC and other local networks without any cable or satellite TV services. In general, however, the options to answer How to watch ABC without cable will involve either using an antenna to access ABC for FREE over-the-air (OTA) or use a legal online streaming service.
The options we have discussed above are among the best available on the market, and we’d definitely recommend them as your answer to how to watch ABC without cable.